I thought Pau Gasol should have been booed instead of celebrated in his return to the FedEx Forum and I must tell you that I am more than a bit puzzled that I virtually stand alone in the media with that opinion. In fact, this morning in the paper Geoff Calkins wrote the following...
So Heisley was one of those cheering Gasol during the introductions. There were boos, too. Which was both ridiculous and predictable.
Booing Gasol is like booing class. Like booing intelligence and sportsmanship.
"I will always have great memories of Memphis," said Gasol.
Why would anyone ever boo that guy?
Wow, booing class and intelligence? I am stunned at how absurd this has gotten over the course of time. Let's go to the paper to find out what was written when Pau wanted to be traded...
"As much as anyone else, Gasol is responsible for the Grizzlies' hideous year. He broke his foot playing for Spain in the World Championships. The Grizzlies -- who are paying him more than $12 million this season -- never uttered a critical word. 'You have to understand, Pau loves his country,' West said. 'That's part of what makes him the great player he is.' Pretty darn gracious, eh? But, then, when haven't the Grizzlies been supportive of Gasol?
They hung with him while he learned the league his rookie year. They shipped Jason Williams and Bonzi Wells out because they were too hard on their sensitive star. Then they paid Gasol the maximum allowed by the NBA, a six-year, $86-million contract extension that symbolized their faith in him. 'We believe in Pau Gasol,' said West. And he repays them with this. In the most difficult season the Grizzlies have had in Memphis, at a time when the franchise needs Gasol's leadership more than ever, the only thing he wants to lead is the parade out of town."
So when the team needed him more than ever, he turned his back on the organization and wanted out? Do I have that right? Sounds like a guy that deserves a tribute! What a freaking joke. And now today it is why would anyone boo Pau Gasol? I feel like I am in an alternate dimension in this town sometimes. How soon we forget. Archives can be a great refresher huh?
The whole event and ridicule of the real sports fans that rightfully booed this bum is shameful and proves that if you are nice to the media, they will always have your back. Even if you turn your back on the team when they need you most (Calkins words, not mine), they will encourage a celebration of your time here. Pathetic and transparent.